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Lamoine Hotel Building Rehab Advances

Mar 11, 2015

The building in downtown Macomb will be converted into an assisted living facility. Newly drawn construction plans show it will feature 47 rentable studio and one bedroom apartments as well as a memory care unit.

Developer Chris Trotter is working to raise private investments to pay for the $4.5 million project. Mayor Mike Inman said Trotter is close to obtaining his goal.

Inman said he would like the city to chip in by allocating about $750,000 worth of TIF money. That’s a loan Trotter would need to pay back.

“The vast majority of this development is on his shoulders and his private funding sources. The city does have a risk here without a doubt,” Inman said. “But we feel that as we have with the initial development agreement, and as we will before taking anything to the council for any type of action or approval, (this) will be something that the city is prepared to say that is a reasonable risk for what we get at the end of the day.”

As part of the incentive package, a portion of an adjacent city parking lot would be given to the facility. The city council will need to sign off on the TIF money and the parking lot proposal.

The city has already given Trotter about $200,000 worth of TIF money. That was awarded after Trotter purchased the building for $150,000 and replaced the roof for an additional $100,000.

The building’s façade will mostly be kept the same to maintain its historic integrity. The only change will be the addition of a wheelchair ramp to the back door of the building.

The interior has already been gutted and will be completely rebuilt to accommodate the newly drawn floor plans, which include adding a stairwell and enlarging the elevator.

The building is in Macomb’s historic downtown district so it's also eligible for a 20% income tax credit. But to maximize that credit, the interior of the building would have needed to be rehabbed instead of rebuilt.

Construction will take about a year and could begin this fall or next spring. Trotter plans to hire a third-party health provider to manage the facility.

Inman said the city is excited about the project even though it isn’t the exact project he hoped for.

“Ideally the city had looked for a developer there that would have been a residential component on the upper floors, (and) commercial, business, retail on the first floor. At the end of the day that was our true hope for that building. But the fact of the matter is we couldn’t find someone to partner with on that idea,” Inman said.

But Inman said he is looking forward to the extra foot traffic the facility will bring to the downtown. He said Trotter has completed two market analyses in the last two years that sustained his business model.

“He (Trotter) believes that there is a demand for this type of health care and residential living development for the elderly and he believes it works for him as a business model," the mayor said.